You’ve just noticed that your cat ate a plastic bag – is this serious? If so, what should you do about it? It isn’t uncommon for cats to eat bits of plastic, but it certainly isn’t good for them either. Your response will depend on how much plastic your cat ate and your cat’s reaction.
Here is a guide to what you should do given this situation:
What If Your Cat Ate a Small Piece of Plastic?
Did your cat only swallow a small piece of the soft plastic bag? If so, it may not be as much of an issue. However, if it is a kitten, then even a smaller portion can do damage. Thus, it is all relative – you may want to take a kitten to the vet immediately.
Small pieces of plastic may be able to pass through your cat a bit more easily. It is a good idea to check their feces to determine if this has happened. If you happen to see a small piece of plastic protruding from your cat’s anus, don’t attempt to pull it out.
If you do this, you may risk tearing the piece of plastic. Instead, take your cat to the vet to let them handle it – they will be able to remove it while keeping the plastic intact. You should do the same if the plastic appears to be stuck in their mouth or throat as you can’t tell where it may be causing an obstruction.
Consumed Larger Portion
Now, what if your cat ate a big part of the plastic bag? In this case, you do need to be a bit more alert. This is because there is a higher risk of obstruction. Such a situation can interfere with your cats breathing or may cause an obstruction in the digestive tract.
Due to this, you need to watch out for the following symptoms:
- Vomiting – especially after eating
- Bloated stomach
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to get your cat to a vet immediately. If the obstruction is left in place, it could do serious damage to your cats systems. Not to mention, the toxins from the plastic can also cause harm to your cat.
Not to mention, if your cat continues to vomit several times over a short period of time, they are losing fluids. This can cause them to become dehydrated and may lead to other issues. Therefore, it is important to react in a timely manner.
In some instances, it is best to take your cat to the vet if it appears that they ate a significant amount of plastic. A vet will be able to do a physical examination or even order x-rays. This will give you a better idea of what you are dealing with sooner rather than later. Thus, your vet will be able to take the necessary action, reducing the risk as well as suffering of your cat.
How to Prevent Your Cat From Eating Plastic
Once your cat is out of danger, you need to make sure that they don’t get the opportunity to eat plastic again. This is the best way to ensure that the scenario isn’t repeated. Here are some tricks that you should use in the future:
Put Plastic Bags Out of Reach
First things first, make sure that your cats can’t get to the plastic bags. Look for storage devices that are specifically meant for these types of bags. Even then, keep these behind closed or locked doors that your cat can’t get through.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of this, just make sure to keep your bags locked away in a cupboard or other place.
Don’t Let Them Play with Your Plastic Bags
Cats love playing with plastic bags and you probably love watching them do so! After all, there is nothing cuter than watching your cat go hiding, running through, and wrestling with the bag. However, this can result in an unintentional consumption of the plastic.
Not to mention, your cat can get stuck in and accidentally strangle themselves with the plastic bag handles. This becomes more likely if the bags are lying around when you aren’t there to monitor your cats playing.
Thus, always put your bags away immediately and don’t let your cats play with them. Look for alternate cat toys instead.
Wash Out Bags Thoroughly
One of the reasons that your cat may be obsessed with plastic bags is because they smell of food. Thus, they may swallow the plastic when they lick or bite the bag. If the plastic bag has been carrying any kind of food, make sure to wash it out thoroughly – use dish soap to get rid of the smell.
This is something that you should even if you are planning on throwing the bag away. There is always a chance that your cat may raid your dustbin if they can still smell the food.
Throw in Unreachable Place
If your cat really enjoys eating or playing with plastic bags, it is best not to throw them in a spot that your cat can reach. This is especially true if your cat has a habit of getting into your trash can.
In this instance, make an effort to throw the bag in a trash can outside of the house and make sure that there is a heavy lid on it. This should help to curb the situation quite a bit. At the very least, put your trash can away or put something heavy on it that your cat can’t knock off easily.
This is what you need to do if you are afraid that your cat ate a plastic bag. Constant vigilance and early intervention are your best options. This can ensure that the plastic doesn’t do any damage to your cat. At the same time, it is in your best interest to make sure that your cat can’t get to the plastic bags. Thus, you need to make sure that you dispose of these bags in a proper manner.